Lidia, who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2016, offers her advice for others who have received a cancer diagnosis.
My recommendation for people who do have this diagnosis, especially hearing a stage 4 cancer, it feels like you know, death is around the door. But quite frankly, I felt that way for about 10 days. After that, I realized, it's not why me, why not me? So, I felt that I had an opportunity to be a patient and go through my stages and steps.
The things that I found to be most helpful, number one was continuing whatever job you're doing, even if it's no job, but continue doing as much as you can, don't change course, just based on that.
Then the other thing we already spoke about, which is reading, reading as much as you can, or I guess there may be audio programs that you can listen to, if you can't read per se, or you don't feel comfortable with that.
A big thing for me was making plans, setting up plans, like three months, nine months from now or from that day of diagnosis. And even to this day, I always had plans. In fact, I was supposed to leave today for a trip with my friends to go to Charleston, but of course because of (the COVID-19) situation as it is, that's why I haven't. But I always like to play I had either a trip with my kids a trip with my friends, whatever the case may be.
Enjoy and enjoy things that bring you pleasure, whether it be going to a concert, going to the gym, I mean, simple things and more complex things, but do continue to do the things that you really do enjoy.
Cherish. I put a lot of emphasis on cherishing because when you get diagnosed with cancer, you kind of feel like you're almost out the door. So, cherish the moments that you may not have these moments again. So really appreciate the time that you have with your family and friends. Not in a manner of being depressed, but in a manner of saying, this was really great, I really, really enjoyed my time with them.
And then my last, but really should be my first, is have faith. Have faith and whatever your particular religious preferences are, maybe you have none, but explore options because faith really does sustain you. And It makes you understand more about what's going to happen when I die. So, if you have a faith, which I was always very faithful and I think that that's the reason why I quickly moved from why me to why not me, and to have the perspective as a patient. And so those are my recommendations for people who have been diagnosed with a cancer, whether it be stage 1 or stage 4.